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#Twitterban: Social media must be regulated- Femi Gbajabiamila insists

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has insisted the federal government must regulate social media to protect the national interest.

Mr Gbajabiamila, who spoke on Channels TV during a programme, ‘A chat with Young Nigerians,’ on Sunday, asserted that everything in life needed regulation.

“The social media is the most potent weapon for good and for evil. While we welcome the good, we must prepare over the evil. You cannot use the idea of free speech to destroy me,” Mr Gbajabiamila said. “Most democracies in the world today are making efforts to regulate the social media and the National Assembly has been considering regulating the social media for long.”

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He added, “But each time the issue comes up, Nigerians kick against it. It is something we need to do because we have a responsibility to protect every single citizen in this country, and that is what we must do.”

He stated, however, that the house of representatives had not reached a stance on the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria by the federal government despite the House Committee on Information voicing its support for the ban.

Mr Gbajabiamila believed that social media regulation should have been carried out long before now.

On June 4, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime banned the microblogging platform because many used the social media platform as a tool to destabilise the country. It has been 22 days since the government suspended Twitter forcing many Nigerians to access the microblogging platform via virtual private networks to bypass the restriction of the social media app and site by telecommunications providers.

The ban drew widespread condemnation from countries like the United States of America and civil society organisations. The ECOWAS Court in Abuja stopped Mr Buhari’s regime from arresting and prosecuting Nigerians using Twitter as directed by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

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